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Chapter 3

PSYB10 Chapter 3-Social Cognition.doc

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

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Chapter 3 Social Cognition Automatic Thinking - thought that is unconscious, unintentional, involuntary and effortless - Helps us understand new situation by relating them to our prior experiences. Schemas - people formally use schemas, which are mental structure that organize our knowledge about the social world. - These mental structures influence the information we notice, think about, and remember. - Given a label, we fill in he blanks with all kinds of schema-consistent information. - Typically very useful for helping us organize and make sense of the world and to fill in the gaps of our knowledge. Accessibility - the extend to which schemas and concepts are at the forefront of our minds and therefore are likely to be used when we are making judgments about the social world. - Schemas are accessible for three reasons: 1) Some schemas are chronically accessible due to past experience. This means that schemas are constantly active and ready to use to interpret ambiguous situations. 2) Schemas can become accessible because they are relation to a current goal. For example if you are studying for a test in your abnormal psych course, and need to learn about different kinds of mental disorders, then this concept of mental disorders might be temporarily accessible. 3) Schemas can become temporarily accessibly because of our recent experiences. This means that a particular schema or traits is not always accessible but happens to be primes by something people have been thinking our or doing before encountering an event. For example you saw an ad on the bus about alcoholism, and then as soon as you see the guy next to you sit down, you think from the way he is behaving, he is an alcoholic. This is so because that thought of an alcoholic was fresh in your mind and hence readily available. (Priming) Priming - The process by which recent experiences increase the accessibility of a schema, trait, or concept, making it more likely that you will use this information to interpret a new eventsuch as the behaviour of the man on the bus. Even though this new event is completely unrelated to the one that originally primed the schema, trait or concept. - Priming is a good example of automatic thinking because it occurs quickly, unintentionally, and unconsciously. When judging others, people are usually not aware that they are applying concepts or schemas that they just happened to be thinking about earlier. Perseverance effect - The finding that people’s beliefs about themselves and the social world persist even when the evidence supporting the beliefs is discredited (Ex in a courtroom, some new evidence is presented bu the judge tells the jury to disregard it when making your decision. You can’t really disregard it and you continue to think about it.) Self-fulfilling Prophecy - When people encounter new evidence or have old evidence discredited, they tend to not reviser their schemas as much as we might expect. People are not always passive recipients of information. However, they often act on their schemas, and in doing so, can change the extent to which these schema are supported r contrasted. In fact people can inadvertently make their schemas come try by the way they treat others. This is called self-fulfilling prophecy. - It occurs when we have an expectation about what another person is like that
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